Local News

Authorities investigate garage explosion in Wilson County

Posted May 18, 2010
Updated May 19, 2010

— Authorities on Tuesday evening were investigating an explosion that severely injured a homeowner in Wilson County.

The explosion happened at about 8 p.m. inside a garage at 7716 La Finca Road near Elm City, authorities said.

Garage explosion injures Wilson County man Garage explosion injures Wilson County man

Paramedics transported Brad Watson to Pitt County Memorial Hospital with upper chest burns, according to the victim's brother-in-law.  Watson was later taken to the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill for additional treatment.

Two neighboring homes were evacuated after the blast.

“I had just put my children to bed and heard a loud explosion,” neighbor Cathy Battle said. "It was a tremendous explosion ... and I was thinking that he ran into a house."

Authorities said Watson was the only person near the home at the time of the explosion. The blast blew off both garage doors and left twisted metal in the front yard of the home.

The State Bureau of Investigation was called to assist with the investigation.  Authorities said late Tuesday that they will not allow anyone inside the home until the cause of the explosion is determined. 

At this point, authorities said a propane tank could have been a factor.


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  • COPs eye May 19, 2010

    Not every explosion is a meth lab and regardless of this man's mental condition it should not be assumed that was the cause. I hope he recovers from his injuries.

  • estrauch May 19, 2010

    Whatever the cause may have been, I hope he recovers quickly. It seems he is truly lucky to be alive.

    To sskeene: If I were the family of this man I would be angry with you for making comments that this man is mentally ill. Ok, say he is mentally ill. Who are you to broadcast private information like that??? You may be a friend of the family, but I hardly think that online news is the place to tell everyone of this mans state of mind. It almost sounds like you are suggesting he tried to commit suicide. Again, if I were the family, I would be angry with you. Until authorities determine the cause, I would not assume anything!

  • NC-Mom-to-2 May 19, 2010

    To McLovin:

    Who are you to assume that just because it is Wilson County that it is a meth lab? I am a life-long Wilson County resident and live not too far from the area where this happened, and I can tell you that the only thing surrounding the area are several large farms owned by God-fearing, hard-working, honest families who have done nothing but contributed to the family-like atmosphere of our community. Your assumption is ignorant and without merit and only serves to prove you ignorant, uncaring, and uninformed. How about refraining from making comments about things you of which you know nothing and show some compassion for your fellow man as any decent human being would. I hope the man involved in this recovers fully and quickly .

  • sskeene May 19, 2010

    I am a resident of the area and I know for sure this was not a meth lab. This man has been suffering from a mental illness for some time. This is a sad situation and I am very sorry it reached this level. I wish he or his family would have gotten him some help before this happened. My prayers are with him and his family....I hope he recovers fully and is able to get the help he needs.

  • lgroover01 May 19, 2010

    No Meth lab!!! I am a friend of the family and if you do not know these people then dont post bad comments like that for the family and friends to see....He is in bad condition and the family has enough to deal with without stupid comments!!!

  • Marsumom May 19, 2010

    That last comment was really cold. My thoughts and prayers go out for this man for a quick recovery

  • McLovin May 19, 2010

    yeah...wilson county + explosion = meth lab

  • Killian May 19, 2010

    Wow. Hope he recovers quickly.

  • Myopinionandnotyours May 19, 2010

    Maybe a Meth Lab?

  • MyNameIsMud May 19, 2010

    Never store gas grills or propane tanks in a garage, inside, or an enclosed space.